IRT Foundation celebrates success of the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation’s 'Capturing Culture' project.

Artists Dee-Jaye Brown, Aunty Lorraine Brown, Aunty Narelle Thomas and Uncle Sonny Brown with an artwork presented to IRT on Monday as part of NAIDOC Week. Picture: Adam McLean
Artists Dee-Jaye Brown, Aunty Lorraine Brown, Aunty Narelle Thomas and Uncle Sonny Brown with an artwork presented to IRT on Monday as part of NAIDOC Week. Picture: Adam McLean

A program has sought to help ensure that indigenous culture and storytelling is preserved for future generations. 

During NAIDOC Week, IRT Foundation is celebrating the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation’s ‘Capturing Culture’ project.

Funded by an $18,000 IRT Foundation community grant, ‘Capturing Culture’ provided an opportunity for the young people of Coomaditchie to spend time with the Elders in the community, learning more about their culture, and capturing and recording their stories.

The children created animated videos and artwork depicting the shared stories. 

The colourful designs were merchandised on tote bags, calendars, gift cards, drinks holders and a picture book retelling the Five Islands Dreaming Story. 

Toby Dawson, IRT Foundation manager said with the shift to a more technologically focused society, “there is a chance that children become disengaged, Elders become socially isolated and that this culture is lost forever”.

Led by Elders and Coomaditchie founders, Aunty Lorraine Brown and Aunty Narelle Thomas, ‘Capturing Culture’ sought to connect Aboriginal people across the generations, using modern and traditional media, to record and preserve the stories of 28 Aboriginal Elders.

Forty community members travelled with Coomaditchie children on an Excursion to Country to Jervis Bay.

“A lot of indigenous kids are losing their culture, or don’t know anything about their culture,” Aunty Lorraine said. “So connecting them to the Elders in this program is very important.

“It's important that before we lose our Elders for the kids to listen to them and learn from them.”

To commemorate the Capturing Culture project, IRT is hanging one of the artworks, a collaboration between more than a dozen Elders and indigenous young people, in the foyer of their head office in Wollongong.